New privacy controls, multitasking features and a Mind app tipped for WWDC 2021

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With Apple's WWDC 2021 software showcase getting underway tomorrow, we've seen a flurry of last-minute leaks, rumors and speculation about some of the changes that are in the pipeline for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8 and more.

One of the most interesting reveals comes from developer Khaos Tian (opens in new tab) on Twitter (via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)), who has spotted changes in the Apple App Store code pointing to new apps coming to the Apple Watch with watchOS 8.

The code refers to Tips and Contacts apps for the watch, suggesting that you'll soon be able to get some useful pointers for your wearable, and access to more information on your contacts, right from the Apple Watch screen.

Then there's a mention of a new Mind app: it's not immediately clear what this could be, but the speculation is that it's some kind of wellbeing or meditation app from Apple, separate from the current Breathe app, operated primarily on the Apple Watch.

Privacy, multitasking and more

Meanwhile over at Bloomberg (opens in new tab), Mark Gurman – who can usually be relied on when it comes to Apple information – has been outlining some of the other upgrades Apple will announce at WWDC 2021. Better privacy controls and a new privacy control panel are supposedly on the way, to give users more control over their data on iPhones and iPads.

Gurman also mentions an "improved multitasking system" on iPads so that its easier to operate several apps at once. iPadOS already lets you split the screen between two apps, or have an app overlaid on another, so expect these features to get some tweaks or to be replaced with a different system.

The latest report also suggests iOS 15 could automatically handle notifications based on different scenarios (like driving or sleeping), while iPadOS 15 widgets will have the freedom to be anywhere on screen – upcoming changes that Gurman and Bloomberg previously reported on back in April.

Apple is pushing out major upgrades to its Messages app too, Gurman says – that's backed up by The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern, who says (opens in new tab) unspecified "big updates" are coming to iMessage as well as Safari, Health and Maps. All will be revealed tomorrow, June 7, when WWDC 2021 gets underway – and we will of course bring you all the news.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.